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01-01-2014, 10:45 AM   #1
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Which of the Two Zoom Lenses

Hey Guys!
This is my first post ever, so I hope its in the correct category.

Anyways, I'm planning on purchasing a telephoto lens, and can't decide which to get?

Currently, I'm considering the Pentax SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED (Pentax SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Autofocus Lens 21720 B&H) and the Pentax HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR (Pentax HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens 22270 B&H Photo).

Right now I have the K-30 with the 18-55 WR, and I'm looking to expand my "collection." Apart from the weather sealing, what major advantages does the HD have over the DA lens, and will that be noticeable on my K-30. Or do you guys have any other suggestions to third party lenses or something else.

Thanks much!
Marcus

01-01-2014, 11:14 AM   #2
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Since you have a weather sealed camera I would go with the weather sealed lens. It's also from what I understand one of the best lenses in that range. Without spending loads more I don't have any suggestions since what you have will be a great start.
01-01-2014, 11:36 AM   #3
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As far as I know, all 3 versions of the 55-300 are optically the same. You can't go wrong with either 3 of them, but I would recommend the WR version just for the sake of it being WR.
01-01-2014, 11:37 AM   #4
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The original 55-300 has the best bang for the buck in that focal length. Being in So California makes WR not so important to me, and I'm not sure of the noticeable advantage of the HD coating.

01-01-2014, 11:45 AM   #5
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And if you want to really save money, the DA-L 55-300 has a plastic mount and the same optics. You will have to buy an accessory lens hood, though.
01-01-2014, 02:57 PM   #6
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A comprehensive review of the new HD lens will be posted on the main page soon. Perhaps you should wait to read it before making a decision?

I have no experience with the DA-L, but a plastic mount makes me nervous. I suspect the plastic mount is made to be left on and changed sparingly, so I worry it will fail if you plan to switch lenses fairly often.
01-01-2014, 03:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
I have no experience with the DA-L, but a plastic mount makes me nervous. I suspect the plastic mount is made to be left on and changed sparingly, so I worry it will fail if you plan to switch lenses fairly often.
Three years with the DA-L 55-300 and two with the DA 35 2.4 says otherwise. I will admit metal would be better, but with the amount of use these two have seen and the little wear showing, I have no worries about the longevity of the mount. Just don't drop it (like any lens).
01-01-2014, 11:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The original 55-300 has the best bang for the buck in that focal length. Being in So California makes WR not so important to me, and I'm not sure of the noticeable advantage of the HD coating.
Mostly just dust down here unless you're at the ocean. My Sigma 18-200mm has a bit of dust starting to gather.

01-02-2014, 09:48 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the feedback, I think I'll probably go with the HD, but I'll wait for the comprehensive review first.
01-03-2014, 12:14 PM   #10
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You can snag a DA-L 55-300 for next to nothing on eBay. While WR would be nice, ask yourself if you really need it. There's a DA-L on eBay right now for $140, the WR version is $420ish. The question is, how much is weather sealing worth to you?

Charles.
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